Friday, April 20, 2007

Brooklyn Supper Club

Damn, I keep forgetting to take my digital camera with me to dinner. This photo, alas, is not of the delicious sauerkraut and cheese pierogies my friend Magda served at the April meeting of our Brooklyn Supper Club. I stole it from Road Food. Magda's pierogies had beautiful, dark brown bits of caramelized onions on top, and her mountain of pierogies was only one of several dishes that weighed down her table.

In law school, a group of friends who were planning to move to California after graduation started the "California Dining Club." It just started somehow, one person had a dinner party and another person offered to host the next one, and it just snowballed in the most delicious way. When I moved into a NY apartment with a real eat-in kitchen, I knew I wanted to start a Brooklyn supper club, and happily, one of the old "California" members had also moved to NY, and I had a couple of other friends who were happy to get together once a month to catch up and eat a big meal. We've had some people "try out" and not come back, we've had one person bring in her fiance and friends, but the core has managed to absorb and hold steady. I expect that it'll be going strong while I'm in Oaxaca, waiting for me to come back and test out my mole-making skills.

(I recently joined another supper club, that originated from Chowhound's Outer Boroughs board, and though it seems to be defunct now, Magda accused me of being a "supper club whore." It's true, I belong to more than one dining club, but how else is a single girl going to find enough people to eat all her cooking?)

Last night's dinner was a triumph. While we chatted about Magda's meat-eating brand of vegetarianism, and HIV prevention by circumcision, and the men's colored underwear article from the Times, we ate homemade pickled herring, accompanied by baked fingerling potatoes, pickled mushrooms, and pickled cucumbers to start. We had stuffed our faces with abandon, assuming there could not be more food, when Magda told us the next course was ready: a big platter of braised leeks in vinegary sauce with chopped hard-boiled eggs, an enormous bowl of roasted beets with goat cheese, and another giant platter of roasted asparagus. And it still wasn't over: the aforementioned pierogies followed, in the biggest ceramic roaster I've ever seen, and a ricotta-orange-pine nut torte made by Jeremy, Magda's fiance.

And she sent me home with leftovers.

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